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Testing the Effectiveness of Anti-Theft Wraps Across Product Types in Retail Environments: A Randomized Controlled Trial

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 15 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 703-18
Date Published
16 pages

The authors present their research methodology, outcomes, and conclusions for a study to determine the protective effects of anti-theft wire-wraps in retail stores; they also make recommendations for future research on the topic.


Anti-theft wire-wraps were tested on three high-theft product categories in retail stores, to estimate protective effects across product categories. The test products were cordless electric drills, weight loss supplements, and skincare products. The study sampled 56 retail locations, stratified into high, medium, and low-inventory loss stores. Treatment was assigned randomly within strata to retail locations; the unit of analysis used in this study was the individual product type nested within individual stores (product type per store) and retailer category. The authors used a nested mixed effects model design for repeated measures to identify the effects of the treatment on retail loss. Four models were fitted: one for overall retail loss, and one for retail loss for each of the three product categories. The authors present their results which suggest that the effect of anti-theft wraps on in-store retail loss varies based on product category. They also state that while experimental research designs have successfully tested the effectiveness of anti-theft technology in retail environments, these results may not always be generalizable across product types. The authors recommend further research exploring variable anti-theft treatment effectiveness and mechanisms of action across asset types in order to more efficiently reduce theft events. Publisher Abstract Provided


Date Published: January 1, 2019